After undergoing a decade-long restoration that cost $US5.86 million, the Flying Scotsman, the most famous British locomotive in history, has been brought back to life. The legend rolls again.
The 21.34m-long, 100-tonne machine was designed by Sir Nigel Gresley, one of Britain’s most famous steam locomotive engineers. It ran long-distance express trips from 1923 to 1963, setting speed records along the way. After 3,341,000km in service at the London and North Eastern Railway, the locomotive was bought by rich guy Alan Pegler, who paid a complete overhaul in 1968. Over the next few decades the locomotive toured the United States, Canada and Australia. This is her story in the US:
In 1969 Flying Scotsman headed for America. The first year tour broke even, but the second lost money. To try to balance the books Pegler arranged for the train to travel to San Francisco. Trading was good but sponsorship didn’t materialise. Alan Pegler was forced into bankruptcy and for now at least, Scotsman was stranded in the USA. However, in 1973 Flying Scotsman was brought back to the UK after William McAlpine heard about the situation in the USA and promptly put together a rescue plan.
Because of the owners’ financial problems, the Scotsman was nearly sold abroad in 2004. After a national campaign, the train was bought by the National Railway Museum in York, which embarked on second restoration effort in 2006. The Flying Scotsman did a test run for the first time in ten years on January 8, before making its inaugural trip from London Kings Cross Station to York on February 25. The legend will be exhibited at the National Railway Museum, between the upcoming events on the tracks around in Great Britain.
The Flying Scotsman at Kings Cross Station on 25 February 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
The Flying Scotsman leaves Kings Cross Station on 25 February 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
A close-up view of the logo on The Flying Scotsman as it leaves Kings Cross Station on 25 February 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Crew members work in the engine room as the Flying Scotsman leaves Kings Cross Station on 25 February 2016. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
A train driver looks out of the window of The Flying Scotsman as it leaves Kings Cross Station on 25 February 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
The Flying Scotsman passes the Emirates Stadium on the East Coast Mainline in Holloway on 25 February 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
Heritage painter Teriann O’Connor, aged 21, who is part of the Heritage painting team, applies primer ready for the the Flying Scotsmans green livery at the National Railway Museum in York, ahead of its official return to steam. 17 February 2016 in York, England. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Heritage painter Mike O’Connor paints engine number 60103 onto the side of the Flying Scotsman’s cab, at the National Railway Museum in York, ahead of its official return to steam next week. 17 February 2016 in York, England. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
The Flying Scotsman hauls the Winter Cumbrian Mountain Express over the Ribblehead Viaduct on 6 February 2016 in Kendal, England. The Flying Scotsman is doing its first hauls since undergoing a $US5.6 million, decade-long restoration. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
The Flying Scotsman pulls carriages during a test run along the East Lancashire line for the first time in ten years on 8 January 2016 in Bury, England. (Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)
Roland Kennington, Chief Engineer of the Flying Scotsman (L) chats with Jim Rees, Rail Vehicle Collection Manager on 18 March 2004 in London. An appeal is underway to prevent the 81 year-old locomotive from being sold abroad. (Photo by Ian Waldie/Getty Images)
4 August 1934: At King’s Cross, London, Pacific type locomotives No 2795 Call Boy (after winner of 1927 Derby) of Haymarket shed is pulling the Flying Scotsman. On the left of it is No 2598 Blenheim (after winner of 1930 Derby) pulling the Junior Scotsman. There is a good example of a four-way point in the foreground. (Photo by Hudson/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
The aftermath of the Goswick rail crash near Goswick in Northumberland, 27 October 1947. The Flying Scotsman from Edinburgh to London derailed, killing 28 people. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
1 January 1968: The Flying Scotsman on display at King’s Cross station, London. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)
July 1931: The Flying Scotsman train leaves King’s Cross station, London. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)
18 January 1933: The Flying Scotsman on a misty day. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)